High School Sports

Freshman year, check; sophomore and junior years, you bet; could Bellingham’s Brown sweep?

Bellingham's Cade Brown smiles as he nears the finish line on his way to a first-place finish at the Northwest Conference Cross Country Championships Oct. 20. Brown claimed the senior boys title at the Sehome Cross Country Invitational Saturday.
Bellingham's Cade Brown smiles as he nears the finish line on his way to a first-place finish at the Northwest Conference Cross Country Championships Oct. 20. Brown claimed the senior boys title at the Sehome Cross Country Invitational Saturday. eabell@bhamherald.com

Bellingham senior Cade Brown was motivated to make local cross country history by winning his class race for the fourth time in the Sehome Invite, but don’t be surprised to see Ferndale freshman Landon Sturdevant match him by 2020.

Brown, using his typical hang-back-early-but-kick-furiously tactic, won the senior boys race in 10 minutes, 10 seconds, the best time of his four years on the 3,200-meter course Saturday at Civic Stadium.

“I feel really good,” said Brown, who as usual congratulated all the other runners before accepting kudos himself. “The challenge of winning all four years really motivated me.”

Sturdevant, a 14-year-old who is already Ferndale’s top runner, claimed the boys freshman title by 3 seconds in 11:00. His coach, Nick Carlson, said the win was “no surprise because Landon won all (six of) his eighth grade races” at Vista Middle School.

“I’ve found my sport,” said Sturdevant, who played football as a seventh grader but gave that up for distance running. “I don’t feel any pressure, but I do care about what I’m doing. I’ve had better times, but my place meant the most to me today.”

Local girls star

Bellingham junior Annika Reiss had the top overall girls time among 380 girls from 31 schools while winning by 27 seconds in 11:48, in the wake of her win as a sophomore and a second-place finish as a freshman. Nooksack Valley senior Alyce Harlan, who has made steady improvement every year, claimed the senior race in 12:18. She was third as a junior.

“It was a little bit easier than I expected,” Harlan said. “I wanted to do a sub-13. My coach (Jay Sloane) told me to go for the win.”

Reiss hardly looked winded.

“I’ve been training super hard,” Reiss said. “I feel great.”

Sehome girls champs

Combining all four races, Sehome’s girls – who hope to contend for the Class 2A state title – won the team title with 49 points, followed by Class 4A Snohomish with 63 and 2A city rival Bellingham with 82.

Topping the 32-team boys field were Arlington with 28, Snohomish with 46 and Glacier Peak with 52.

Other local standouts

Among the 439 boys who ran in the four races, Whatcom County also had these runners finish in the top five: Senior race – Lynden Christian’s Eric Steiger second in 10:20 and LC’s Brooks DeWaard fifth in 10:30; Junior race – Sehome’s Reed Smith second in 10:22 and Lucas Cunningham third in 10:23; Sophomore race – Sehome’s Jacob Alexander third in 10:40 and LC’s John Den Hartog fifth in 10:54; Freshman race – Sehome’s Roman Schroyer fifth in 11:13.

The top overall time was 9:59 by junior champion Riley McDowell of Glacier Peak. Teammate Elijah Lopez won the sophomore race in 10:38.

Other local top five girls were: Senior race – Sehome’s Emma Hageman fourth in 12:44; Sophmore race – Sehome’s Rosie Kirker second in 12:03; Freshman race –Ferndale’s Jaclyn Denham fourth in 13:06.

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